Environmental organizations are jubilant over the proposed Bulldog Mine in eastern Illinois’s cancellation.
A license for the mine was given to Indiana-based Sunrise Coal in 2019. The license, which had a three-year expiration date, just became invalid. Sunrise failed to start the mine, therefore the Illinois Department of Natural Resources revoked the company’s permit to proceed with the project.
It’s a victory for environmentalists in Illinois and the surrounding Vermilion County communities, according to Suzanne Smith, president of the advocacy organization Stand Up to Coal.
Smith said, “Everything we’ve been fighting for is the termination of the permit. “Pure water, clean air, and healthy towns nearby all benefit greatly from this win.”
According to Vermilion County First, the mine would have covered around 400 acres and produced about 300 permanent jobs in the area. Illinois continues to be the country’s fourth-largest coal producer, despite Gov. JB Pritzker making the switch to sustainable energy a priority during his tenure.
Since the project was first proposed in 2012, locals have voiced their worries about air and water pollution as well as the potential threat to the nearby Salt Fork of the Vermilion River.
Suzanne Smith noted that the area’s groundwater wells may have become poisoned as a result of contamination from the Bulldog Mine.
Smith argued, “In this instance, we know that clean water has been at the core of the problem. We’re relieved that the coal mine is no longer active since landowners can now be sure that their drinking water wells are safe from potential coal contamination.
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, a process is known as “acid mine drainage” can cause acidic water from mining operations to escape into nearby rivers, streams, and other bodies of water. The procedure, according to the organization, has the potential to make adjacent water bodies as acidic as vinegar in the worst-case scenario.
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